This is an excellent place. Not only did I buy some really nice bubblebath and skin lotion, but I also went to some really fascinating lectures about the history of seaweed harvesting (in English), understanding the tides, and cooking with seaweed (among others) and all for free!
The people who work here are helpful and knowledgeable and since I've been using my new wonderful smelling skin lotion I just feel ten years younger.
For those of you who don't know, Roscoff is a major world center for research into the benefits of seaweed (alongside NY). The CNRS (French scientific research authority) has a major site here and during summer the researchers sometimes come and give lectures as well. This is a must visit in Roscoff.
The town's main street, Rue Gambetta, is a gem. There's everything you could ever want for your shopping trip - butcher, baker, candlestick-maker etc. And not a chain store, nor a MacD's in sight.
Maybe in season this can be a busy thoroughfare, but out of season is just a row of proper shops which cater for the people who live here.
There are a few touristy shops around but the main commerce is for the locals and the short wander with its sights and smells and the photo ops were another pleasure to add to those already well-stacked.
Judging by the traffic in and out of this little bakery this seems to be the most popular with the locals. Personally I didn't have the cause to buy anything as I wasn't going to get back home for another 24 hours but if I staying here this would be the place I'd get my daily bread.
Just standing outside inhaling the yeasty aromas was a pleasure in its own right.
As well as being one of my favourite places for a day-trip Roscoff is also useful for picking up a couple of cartons of my tobacco.
Le Sailor is a proper bar/tabac which stocks most brands and usually in reasonable quantities. Service is always cheery and being a bar as well just happens to be a bonus!
This is a proper local bar and the guys'll be on the coffee and cognac as early as 9 am and so it seemed a wasted opportunity not to join them - purely for the purposes of "fitting-in" of course ;)
What to pay: Unfortunately France is quite expensive for tobacco these days with my Gauloises costing 6.70 Euros for 40 grams, as opposed to 4.60 for 50 grams in Belgium. But it's still a lot cheaper than UK and the trip is a pleasure.
This is not a shop as such, but rather a warehouse, filled with......you guessed it: Wine, Wine, Wine and Beer!
Having had an absolutely excellent lunch at l'Eclume and a post-prandial wander up to the Table d'Orientation it was time to head back towards the ferry. Walking, this time from a different direction to the way I walked into town, took me past the little industrial estate that I had noticed on my way into town that morning. "WINE THIS WAY!!" said the sign! (plus whatever blurb accompanied the main message). "WINE THIS WAY" is good enough for me and following my feet (I always let them do the walking) there was Roscoff's Wine and Beer Seller.
What to buy: At first the warehouse, fronted by chain link fencing, looks more like a trade outlet than a retail one but the signage was unambiguously welcoming.
On entry it is simply a warehouse with pallet upon pallet of cases of wine, mostly from small vineyards, well described on cards with personalised tasting and information notes.
There is also a tasting table by the entrance, which when I arrived was unmanned.
Unfortunately I only had about 15 mins until I was supposed to check-in for my return sailing and didn't really have time to savour the experience but after a quick look around settled on a half-case of perfectly good merlot for the princely sum of 17.34 euros.
This is actually an English-run concern and brief though my visit was I will definitely have to return, if only for the tasting table!!
What to pay: From under 3 euros for a perfectly drinkable bottle of vin de pays up to whatever you want to spend - there seems to be some worthwhile bargains to be had at the upper end.
This is a charming place and they do lovely gift packages. Once again, Roscoff is known for the beneficial health qualities of the seaweed that is harvested here
Seaweed is just full of all sorts of vitamins and minerals and it's also a wonderful skincare ingredient. Algoplus sells lots of seaweed based products in a variety of forms both edible and non-edible ie, beauty products.They also have a selection of tasteful souvenirs.
I'm hooked on this stuff and I feel ten times better since I've started taking supplements.
What to buy: All sorts of seaweed based products. Roscoff is world famous for this.